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Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
and Glynn County

 What are Persistent Organic Pollutants?

POPs are a set of chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment for long periods of time, and biomagnify as they move up through the food chain. POPs have been linked to adverse effects on human health and animals. Because they circulate globally via the atmosphere, oceans, and other pathways, POPs released in one part of the world can travel to regions far from their source of origin.

 What is Being Done to Eliminate POPs?

 On May 23, 2001, the United States signed the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) at a diplomatic conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Under the Convention, countries commit to reduce and/or eliminate the production, use, and/or release of the 12 POPs , commonly called the “Toxic 12” or “Dirty Dozen”, of greatest concern to the global community and to establish a mechanism by which additional chemicals may be added to the Treaty in the future.

 What are the“Toxic Twelve” or “Dirty Dozen” POP Chemicals?

 Under this global process, the twelve POPs being considered initially are PCBs, dioxins, furans, aldrin, dieldrin, DDT, endrin, chlordane, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene and heptachlor.

 How Can POPs Effect My Health?

The adverse acute effects that can result from accidental exposure or ingestion, there are also various chronic effects that can result from long-term, low -level exposure. These chronic effects include the promotion of cancers, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, disruption of the immune system and interference with normal infant and child development.

 

What POPs are in Glynn County?

PCBs, dioxins, furans, toxaphene, are present in large amounts, but dieldrin, DDT, endrin, and chlordane, are also found throughout Glynn County.

How Can I be Exposed?

Eating seafood is the single greatest risk since POPs bioaccumulate and have been found in locally caught fish and crabs.    Breathing air or contact with soil can result in significant long-term exposure near toxic waste sites.

 

 
     

Seafood from Terry and DuPree Creeks near the Hercules Plant outfall is contaminated by POPs.

Seafood from Turtle River around the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site and Pulp Mill is contaminated with POPs.

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